by Chris Larscheid
This is the personal, true story of how a sinner, me, came to know God, our creator. I was born in Crownpoint, IN. which is just outside of Chicago, ILL. I was born into a catholic family, who when the first chance they could get, put me in a catholic school. I started going to school at Christ the King school, which is located in Little Rock, AR. It was there that I learned about God. I knew that God was to be feared and that He loved me. He had power over all and it was wise to do His will. I was a terror my first year in school. It is amazing that the school didn’t kick me out. Around the time I started the first grade, I realized that it was impossible to follow God’s commandments by myself. During this same period of time, my parents started putting me in martial arts. I have always been I little guy, so I guess my parents wanted to give me the best chance for standing up for myself. A side affect of martial arts was that I picked up discipline.
Sometime after I started martial arts, I started wanting to serve. I decided to serve the only thing that I thought was worthy enough to serve, my God. I bent down one night at the cathedral and told God that I wish to be a Holy Soldier for him. Now at this time I want to point out that I really didn’t understand who Jesus Christ was. All I knew that he was God’s son and that He died for my sins. I thought I had to continually confess my sins to Him to be forgiven. This, I now know, is not completely correct.
After the time I told God that I wanted to be His “Holy Soldier” there was a change in my life. I became a goody-too-shoe who felt a glow inside. It was like God had decided that when I told him that I wanted to be a Holy Soldier for Him, He reached out and said you are going to be mine. I don’t believe that I was saved at this time, but I know without a doubt that God was working in my life. I could feel great warmth and comfort at times when He was around.
I know when I was younger, I was quite the little athlete. Yes, I was smaller than everyone else, but I was also three times quicker than everyone else. I used my quickness to embarrass as many people as I could. You name it, soccer, football, basketball, I loved going circles around my competitors. I enjoyed sports so much that it became my sole focus in life. I kept praying to God, but it was sports that I really loved.
In the sixth grade the most devastating event happened to me, I tore my knee. At the time, I would say that it was the most tragic event of my life. I can now tell you that it was one of the greatest blessings I have ever received.
By taking sports out of life, God took away my pride. I always thought I was better than everyone else until God humbled me. Just before my knee injury, my parents got a divorce. The way I always dealt with the divorce was that I told myself that I still have sports and my God. Without sports, there was only God. I continued to feel the warmth and comfort of God until I reached my teenage years. It was then that I was bombarded by all these feelings I couldn’t control. I started losing the feel of God’s presence in my life. I remember countless nights of going to bed in tears, crying out to God. I asked if I had done anything wrong but got no answer. I concluded that God was still with me and that it was all in my head. I went through junior high and high school feeling a need in my life. I had everything I could possibly want, popularity, good grades, money, a good family, but I still felt a void in my life. I was missing something, and I didn’t know what.
In 2001, I started my first year in college at the University of Arkansas without knowing a soul. I was the only person that came to the U of A from my entire county. I knew nobody and I decided to just go out and meet anyone I could. On the first day of class, I met a guy by the name of Josh Saldivar. He would become my best friend and buddy in college. Josh was the only guy I could relate to and compare myself to. Later that year Josh introduced me to his dad, Rick, and invited me to a Bible study.
It was there that I was shown who Jesus Christ was and how you go to heaven. John chapter 3 shows that a man must be reborn again in the spirit to enter into the gates of heaven. Ephesians 2:8-9 was the main verse that showed me that there was no way to Heaven but by Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter how hard you try to work, salvation is by grace which is a gift from God. When I heard these things, I told myself, “That’s it! This is what I have been missing. This is what I need in my life.”
I went to my truck right after the Bible study, praying to God desperately. I bent down my head and prayed to God acknowledging that I was a sinner and that I needed His gift of salvation which He paid for when He died on the cross for my sins. I acknowledged that I couldn’t make it to heaven on my own. It was only if I give up my life to Christ that I could make it.
After I have had time to think about my life, I know that Jesus Christ, God (who is one and the same [John 1]) touched me when I was a very little kid asking to be his “Holy Soldier”. From that point as kid on, God has been working on my life. From tearing my knee, to moving me to college, God has shown me that He loves me desperately. My life is still being worked on by God as I now focus on growing stronger in the Spirit. My journey to knowing Christ ended in May of 2001. At the same time my journey of walking with Christ begins (Matthew 28:19-20). I am a man who has been touched by God, called by God, and saved by God. This is the truth. I am now truly a Holy Soldier living for Christ.